@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Today @NCCapitol (April 2): Lawmakers back to work on education, airport and drunk driving bills

Posted April 2, 2013

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Tuesday, April 2. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government this morning.

FIRST UP: The Council of State will meet at 9 a.m. The agenda is relatively light, with the group of 10 statewide elected officials mainly reviewing land sales and leases. Gov. Pat McCrory will chair. 

SENATE CALENDAR: The Senate meets at 2 p.m. with three bills on its calendar. One of the measures would require more state oversight of newly formed mental health managed care agencies. 

HOUSE CALENDAR: The House meets at 2 p.m. and will deal with a number of matters, including when counties may remove abandoned boats from public waters and when local governments may hold special elections. WRAL.com will carry the House session live. Check the Video Central box on our home page. 

WRAP: Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie and reporter Mark Binker talk about a bill that would slow down divorce proceeding in North Carolina and preview Tuesday's action in The Wrap @NCCapitol.

DIX: When Dix Hill was chosen as the location of "The North Carolina Hospital for the Insane," it was seen as a peaceful spot where patients could recover their faculties. The battle over what to do with the property now that there is no longer a hospital there belies that sense of peace. WRAL.com outlines the history of the Dix campus, from its original land acquisition to today's legislative battles.

MARRIAGE: State lawmakers are considering making divorces harder to get in North Carolina. Senate Bill 518, dubbed the Healthy Marriage Act, would double the one-year waiting period before a divorce could be granted and would require husband and wife to receive conflict resolution counseling, as well as counseling if they have children. Supporters said they believe the restrictions will help cut the state's divorce rate.

COMMITTEES: For a complete listing of today's committees, see the main @NCCapitol page. Among the highlights:

House Education (10 a.m. | 643 LOB): Lawmakers take up a bill that would change how public schools are graded. The state adopted an A-through-F grading system as part of the state budget last year year. HB 435 would expand the criteria on which those grades are issued. WRAL.com will carry this meeting live. Check the Video Central box on our home page. 

Senate Judiciary II (10 a.m. | 1124 LB): More people convicted of drunk driving offenses would have to install ignition interlocks on their cars under a bill the committee will review. Interlock devices require that drivers blow into a breathalyzer before their car will start. NTSB has recommended using them for all those convicted of drunk driving offenses. The state has had some problem with its ignition interlock vendors

House Health and Human Services (10 a.m. | 544 LOB): The committee takes up a measure that would require those applying for food stamps and other public assistance submit to criminal background checks. 

House Transportation (Noon | 643 LOB): The Senate has already passed a bill that would take control of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport away from the City of Charlotte and put it in the hands of a regional authority. The House Transportation Committee is due to discuss, but not vote on, its own version of the bill. WRAL.com will carry this meeting live. Check the Video Central box on our home page.

Senate Finance (1 p.m. | 544 LOB): Many boat owners would pay higher annual registration fees under a bill meant to raise money for dredging coastal channels

NOTED: Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby became the latest prosecutor in the state to instruct law enforcement on how to crack down on sweepstakes games, which state law views as illegal gambling operations. In a letter to the Wake County Sheriff's Department and others, Willoughby clears away the gray area under which they've operated, writing "we have reason to believe that these activities are illegal and in violation of North Carolina law." Despite at least two sweepstakes companies having lobbyists at the General Assembly, no bill dealing with the games has been filed yet. Click here for more from last week.

ELSEWHERE: News worth notice from Monday included: 

50 Comments

This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Apr 2, 2013

    Bill 518. That's all we need. Extending the one-year waiting period to two years is unreasonable. One-year is long enough for a couple to make the right decision. I know, because I did that one-year waiting peroid 15 years ago and I have been married over 33 years now. I'm not saying it works for everyone, but extending it to 2 YEARS it totally, you guessed it! Our state leaders have better things to do than worry about divorce rates right now. Stop trying to ruin peoples' lives!!

  • soyousay Apr 2, 2013

    The artical above doesn't begin to describe what they are up to: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H494v0.pdf
    Otherwise known as the Rowan Defense of Religion act

  • rroadrunner99 Apr 2, 2013

    Have all the legislators take a BAC before work daily. We don't need drunk people making laws.

  • rroadrunner99 Apr 2, 2013

    I have a feeling that North Carolina's Divorce rate might not drop, but the number of seperated married couples that's not divorced will sky rocket! So this law will accomplish nothing in the long run.

  • JustKeepingItReal Apr 2, 2013

    A couple should have a 5 year waiting period after they obtain a marriage license. ..
    JustKeepingItReal
    really just a bit arbitrary isn't it? so they would live in sin until then?
    soyousay

    I never suggested that a couple live in sin. Sex before marriage would be up to the couple, they could be celibate until they got married.

  • tracmister Apr 2, 2013

    Everyone who voted Republican needs to stop complaining. This is what you voted for. An expansion of state government into your private lives. Accountability for schools based on a grade with no accountability for the state legislature or government. Fees, the Republican word for tax increase. Still no jobs plan with a 9.5% state unemployment rate. Mind you, this is only April.

  • issymayake Apr 2, 2013

    If you don't like our state, BY ALL MEANS MOVE TO NY or CA!..

    thanks but I believe in democracy and I think I'll stay
    soyousay

    AS one who was born and raised here, I love my state. However, I can criticize stupid laws; and the one requiring a two-year separation period is just stupid. We should be reducing the requirement and allowing people to move on with their lives.

  • bw64774 Apr 2, 2013

    The problem is the limit of .08. Its an arbitrary number not completely supported by science, government trumped science on that number. And no politician in their right mind will try to get it raised, so we are stuck with it. So a 300lb man who blows a .08 obviously isnt drunk but will be branded as such, whereas a 100lb woman who blows a .08 is probably hammered. So think about that before you want to throw everyone in a dungeon
    Crumps Br0ther
    April 2, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    Are you kidding? Obviously a 300 lb man that blows .08 IS just as drunk as a 100 lb woman. The only difference is the man would have had to have drank alot more than the woman to get to that point. BAC is a percentage of alcohol in your blood, not amount of alcohol you consumed.

  • soyousay Apr 2, 2013

    If you don't like our state, BY ALL MEANS MOVE TO NY or CA!..

    thanks but I believe in democracy and I think I'll stay

  • soyousay Apr 2, 2013

    A couple should have a 5 year waiting period after they obtain a marriage license. ..

    really just a bit arbitrary isn't it? so they would live in sin until then?

More...